U.S. Geological Survey has confirmed an earthquake struck central Virginia at 1:53 p.m 4 miles south southeast of Louisa, Virginia near Mineral Va. It has been felt throughout the D.C. metro region. Initial indications are that it measured 5.9 on the Richter scale.
Minutes after the quake, the director of the U.S. Geological Survey, Marcia McNutt — who watched objects falling from the shelves in her office — cautioned that the shaking might not be over.
“What the concern is, of course, is that this is a foreshock. If it’s a foreshock, then the worse is yet to come.”
She said the energy from earthquakes on the East Coast does not attenuate as quickly as it does on the West Coast, and thus even a relatively modest tremor can shake a very broad.
“When something like this happen, everyone has to remember, more than half of the states in the U.S. are considered earthquake country. When something like this happens, remember what to do in the case of a seismic event. Duck, get under something sturdy like a desk or a doorway, get away from falling glass. Make sure that you are not in the way of falling objects like pictures, bookshelves, books, anything that’s not firmly connected the wall.”
It’s not the first we’ve had in the area.
We had one last year, around this time.
The quake hit at 5:04 a.m. ET with a magnitude of 3.6, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. It was centered near Rockville, Md., the USGS said.
NBC News reported that the quake was felt in the D.C.-area, Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia and Pennsylvania.
Amy Vaughn, a spokeswoman for USGS, told NBC station WRC that the quake was the largest recorded within 50 kilometers (31 miles) of Washington since a database was created in 1974.
The previous record within that time period was a 2.6 magnitude temblor in 1990.
“So this is pretty significant for your area,” Vaughn told WRC-TV.
The area’s last quake — with a magnitude of 2.0 — occurred in May 2008.
We evacuated the building briefly, but got the all clear to go back in as soon as I got out. I walked around the block until my legs no longer felt like jelly. I’m back at my desk and as far as I know everyone’s OK.
If I feel anything else, I’m diving under my desk.
Something tells me my Metro communte is going to be one slow nightmare.